This is not a particularly deep thread, but it seems to me that the prevalence of 'Atheism' with a capital 'A' is growing. 'Atheism' is a common noun, not a proper noun, so in English it should not normally be capitalized (unless it is at the beginning of a sentence). However, for a time I used to hear people referring to 'Big A Atheism' implying additional values ascribed to the term beyond mere lack of belief.
For those who capitalize, is this just just an odd typing habit, or are you implying something by writing 'Atheism' instead of 'atheism'? If the latter, what is your intended meaning?
For the record, I doesn't matter to me that people use one over the other; it's just a point of curiosity as to why. Personally, I prefer it as a common noun indicating nothing more than one very simple statement of disbelief in deities.
Spirit? With a capital "S"?
@MikeLong Absolutely a capital S, in honour of the alcohol it was named after *)
In English, we capitalize proper names even of fictitious or mythological personas. Elmer Fudd, Betty Crocker, Shiva, Dick Tracy, Hercules, Odin. However, the word "atheist" is just an ordinary noun like "plumber," "cat," "cook," "policeman," or "clerk."
I still believe that capitalizing "Atheist" just gives the theists an arguing point, even if it is a stupid one.
And I like arguing with them.
If they try using it on the Spoonheim Buzzsaw well that's a bonus.
Problem is they'll go to some credulous person and use it on them, and maybe convince them that atheism is a religion.
Atheism is anything but common. The question that also could be asked is why write xian instead of christian or Christian. Lack of respect. The English language changes all the time, new words come into being all the time, The English language is not a static item, the same with spelling, just not static.
I always use Atheist, always with a capital, it is my protest, and I don't give a fig that xians call it a religion - just one of the many furphies they love to extoll. Makes no difference to me.
A furphy, also commonly spelled furfie, is Australian slang for a rumour,or an erroneous or improbable story.
"I always use Atheist, always with a capital, it is my protest"
I like that
There is a grammatical reason for capitalizing "Christianity." "Christ" is a proper name, like "Elmer Fudd." You can capitalize "Atheist" if you like, though you'd have a fight on your hands getting it past a professional editor. It's no more a proper name than "taxpayer."
There actually a non-disrespectful reason for "xian," because "x" is the first letter of "Christ" in greek.
yes it's directly analogous to Xmas. (Though I sometimes see xtian, which isn't.) I've seen Xians complain about "Xmas" like it's some way of taking Christ out of Christmas (if only!), I just have to laugh.
It's the same X as in the greek jesus fish ΙΧΘΥΣ.
ΙΧΘΥΣ is an acronym for "Ίησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ", which translates into English as "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior". The X is as you say, is the abbreviation for Christ.
Is that what's on the Jesus fish? I had no idea - thanks Steve.
Well some of them just say JESUS but many have this "Ichthus" word on it, which is the word for fish. Clever, eh?
Of course my latin alphabet eyes want to read it as IXOYE "icksohyeah"